Monthly Archives: August 2018

2018 World Series Schedule

Championship Format

The 10-team World Series field is comprised of the champions of each of the eight national regions (New England, Middle Atlantic, Ohio Valley, Southeast, Midwest Plains, Southwest, Pacific Northwest and Pacific Southwest) as well as the Western New York State Champions and the Host Team.

Teams will be split into two divisions, National and American.

American Division
New England – Lynn Allstars, Lynn, MA
Midwest Plains – Charleston Fighting Squirrels, Charleston, MO
Pacific Southwest – Northwest Bakersfield Blues, Bakersfield, CA
Southeast – Northern Fairfax County, Fairfax VA
Host: Southern Tier – Chautauqua & Cattaragus County, NY
National Division
Ohio Valley – Northwest Indiana Rippers, Crown Point, IN
Southwest – Alabama Rawdogs, Mobile, AL
Middle Atlantic – West End, Williamsport, PA
Pacific Northwest – Columbia Basin Riverdogs, Columbia, WA
Western New York State Champion – Onondaga Babe Ruth, Onondaga, NY

Each of the 10 teams in the World Series will play four round-robin style games over the first five days of play. Each team will play the other four teams in their division once. A tie in standings will be broken by head-to-head records then fewest total runs allowed.

After pool play the top three teams in each division will advance to a single elimination bracket, with the top seed in each division receiving byes.

Pool Play
Game # Date Away Home Time
1 4-Aug Ohio Valley Middle Atlantic 12:00PM
2 4-Aug New England Southeast 2:30PM
3 4-Aug WNY State Champ Southwest 5:00PM
4 4-Aug Southern Tier Midwest Plains 7:30PM
5 5-Aug Southwest Pacific Northwest 12:00PM
6 5-Aug New England Pacific Southwest 2:30PM
7 5-Aug Middle Atlantic WNY State Champ 5:00PM
8 5-Aug Southeast Southern Tier 7:30PM
9 6-Aug Pacific Southwest Midwest Plains 12:00PM
10 6-Aug Pacific Northwest Middle Atlantic 2:30PM
Pool Play
Game # Date Away Home Time
11 6-Aug WNY State Champ Ohio Valley 5:00PM
12 6-Aug Southern Tier New England 7:30PM
13 7-Aug Southwest Ohio Valley 12:00PM
14 7-Aug Midwest Plains New England 2:30PM
15 7-Aug Southeast Pacific Southwest 5:00PM
16 7-Aug Pacific Northwest WNY State Champ 7:30PM
17 8-Aug Middle Atlantic Southwest 12:00PM
18 8-Aug Ohio Valley Pacific Northwest 2:30PM
19 8-Aug Midwest Plains Southeast 5:00PM
20 8-Aug Pacific Southwest Southern Tier 7:30PM
By | August 5th, 2018|News|0 Comments

Lynn Babe Ruth Team Leaves for the World Series

The Lynn Babe Ruth players and coaches boarded a bus today for a nine-hour ride to Jamestown, N.Y., seeking to do something that no local team has done in 35 years: win a world championship.

The Lynn contingent, led by coaches Al Donovan and Leon Elwell, tuned up for the Babe Ruth World Series with an indoor hitting session Monday night at Extra Innings in Middleton. Lynn qualified for the World Series by winning the New England regional championship last Tuesday at Fraser Field.

“We played a talented Cape Cod team in the regional final and we were able to win with some phenomenal pitching, great defense and timely hitting,” said Donovan, who is also the head baseball coach at Salem State University.

Starting pitcher Devin Curley was masterful in the New England tournament and received the MVP Award. AJ Luciano continued his torrid .400-plus hitting from his high school season at Lynn Classical.

“AJ has been hitting the ball really well,” said Donovan. “Jo Moreta and Anthony Nikolakakis have done a great job and Zach Elwell had a big hit in a winners’ bracket game. It’s been a great team effort.”

Donovan said he had high expectations for the team when it first convened last November.

“Coach Elwell and I thought we had some talented players and he [Elwell] had the core group from the [2015] World Series team,” said Donovan. “There’s been a lot of synergy and the kids get along very well.”

Nine players from Elwell’s Lynn 15-year-old All-Star team – AJ Luciano, Christian Burt, Dayshawn Anderson, Zach Elwell, Danny Lilja, David Barbard, Anthony Nikolakakis, Kevin Durant, and Brett Bucklin – are making their second trip to the World Series. That team finished fifth in country.

Luciano, who will be attending Massachusetts Maritime Academy, said he’s looking forward to competing against players from across the country.

“I’ve been looking forward to it all weekend,” said Luciano. “I can’t wait to get on the bus and get to New York. I think we can win it all. The keys are pitching and good defense and timely hitting.”

Anderson is very excited about the trip to the World Series.

“We’re all looking forward to the tournament,” said Anderson, whose mother, Tawnya Smith, will be in Jamestown. “When we played in North Dakota, I met some new people and we competed against some really good teams.”

Donovan said he could sense the excitement and feel the energy among the players.

“We’re excited about the opportunity,” said Donovan. “It’s very impressive that Lynn has a team in the World Series again.”

Nikolakakis excited to be be back in the  World Series

Anthony Nikolakakis has one of the best memories from the Lynn Babe Ruth 15-year-old All-Star team’s appearance in the 2015 World Series: a grand slam home run and an All-Tournament Award.

Nikolakakis hit his towering grand slam against the West Fargo, North Dakota team in the host team’s home ballpark.

The big, right-handed hitter was asked about his home run outlook for the 2018 Babe Ruth World Series

“Honestly, hitting a home run in the World Series is not foremost in my mind,” said Nikolakakis, the son of Taki and Elaine Nikolakakis. “I’m just focused on getting the job done as a team, not individually. Yet, it would be awesome to hit a home run, but as long as we come home with some hardware, it’s doesn’t matter how I play.”

Nikolakakis, who will attend Plymouth State University (N.H.), said “it’s awesome” to play in the World Series for a second time.

“It’s definitely cool to do it once, and being able to do it twice is just a blessing, especially with the group of guys we have now,” said Nikolakakis. “We have a really talented, hard-working group, kids that want to be here and compete, and that’s what drives us. We’re all excited.”

Nikolakakis and his St. Mary’s High School teammates on the Lynn team, including Kyle Oullette, Josh Mateo, Lou Vidal, and Colin Reddy, will not be attending the Spartans’ breakup banquet Tuesday night. But the 6-foot-3-inch slugger has a heartfelt message for coach Derek Dana and the school itself.

“I want to say thank you for the best four years of my life. Thank you to Coach Dana for helping me and shaping me in to the person I am and the player I am. And thank you to the school itself for getting me ready for college.”

By | August 5th, 2018|News|0 Comments

LYNN BABE RUTH ALL-STARS BEGIN WORLD SERIES POOL PLAY SATURDAY

LYNN — Plenty has been said regarding the Lynn Babe Ruth 16-18-year-old All-Star team’s run to the World Series. The Lynners arrived in Jamestown, New York Thursday evening after an eight-hour bus ride and now one thing’s clear: it’s finally time to play baseball.

Aside from a scrimmage against the North Shore Giants Monday night at Fraser Field, Lynn hasn’t played a game since last Tuesday’s regional final against Cape Cod. Keeping the players loose through the past nine days has been the objective for coaches Al Donovan and Leon Elwell.

“We wanted to keep the kids loose and at the same time be competitive,” Donovan said. “We scrimmaged the Giants and we used all our pitchers in that game. We went to Extra Innings and hit in the cages for two hours. We met with the parents, set the expectations before we head down there. We worked on our defensive plays during the scrimmage and took good batting practice.

“Baseball’s about repetition,” Donovan said. “Not just on drills but hitting, fielding, pitching too. Working on defensive run-downs and cut-offs. It’s all about repetition, these guys have done it the last seven, eight years of their lives. You make sure you’re ready for competitive situations. It might come down to a little play like putting down a sac-bunt. We work on those little plays. I believe they’re ready. I think it just comes down to executing.”

The Lynners are guaranteed four games in the World Series. They’ll play one tilt against each of the other four teams in their pool. They begin pool play Saturday afternoon (2:30) against the Southeast Region champion. Sunday (2:30) they take on the Pacific Southwest Regional champion. Monday (7:30) Lynn clashes against the Southern Tier Region champion. Tuesday (2:30) they battle the Midwest Region champion. All World Series games will be played at Russell E. Dietrich, Jr. Park in Jamestown.

There are two pools, five teams in each, competing in the World Series. The top three teams from each pool advance to the knockout round of the tournament. The top team from each pool will earn a bye, giving them an automatic bid in the semifinals. If Lynn finishes as one of the top three teams in its pool, it’ll have a rest day Wednesday. If Lynn’s the top seed in its pool, Thursday will also be a rest day with the semifinals scheduled for Friday.

“Whenever you get to the top 10 teams, at any level, you’ll play top teams,” Donovan said. “Last year Cape Cod went down there and I believe they finished fourth. We feel we’re going to see some good competition.”

While the goal is to emerge as one of the top three teams of the pool, Donovan said the Lynners are taking a “one game at a time” approach as they dive into pool play. They’re focused on Saturday’s game without looking too far ahead.

“We’re aiming to go out and play well in game one,” Donovan said. “We’re not looking too far ahead to game two or game three. We have to go out and execute. We’ll leave it all on the table. I believe we’ll do well out there, I really do.”

Lynn’s roster includes a solid mix of 18 players, half of which played on a similar stage two summers ago in the 15-year-old Babe Ruth World Series in North Dakota. Donovan said carrying a core of players who know what to expect on a national stage goes a long way in preparing for the World Series.

“They’re ready,” Donovan said. “There has been a lot of talk of excitement. They’re chewing at the bit to compete at a high level. We have nine kids who were on this stage two years ago and that says a lot. We have nine other kids who played at a high level and are very talented. I’m happy we’re leaving. It’s been a long build up.

“I’m happy for the kids,” Donovan said. “Me and coach Elwell love watching these kids play. We’ve coached them in Little League. We’ve had some of these kids for a number of years. We’ve meshed well together as a team. It’s been a team effort all the way around. It’s going to be an interesting ride.”

By | August 2nd, 2018|News|0 Comments

NIKOLAKAKIS, LYNN BABE RUTH GET A SECOND SHOT AT WORLD SERIES

LYNN — Anthony Nikolakakis still has vivid memories of the Babe Ruth 15-year-old World Series he played in two years ago with a group of longtime Lynn Little League teammates. The Lynners did their best in representing their city on a national stage in North Dakota but fell a bit short of bringing a banner home.

Now they’re getting a second chance, as Nikolakakis and the 16-18-year-old Lynn Babe Ruth All-Star team’s heading to the World Series in Jamestown, New York this weekend. And Nikolakakis hopes to make the most of the opportunity.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Nikolakakis said of the opportunity to play in the upcoming World Series. “After our 15-year-old year we thought that was our last chance to play together. It’s really awesome. We’ve been playing together since we were all 10-year-olds. To be able to do this twice with this group of guys is just incredible.

“It’s a brotherhood more than a team,” Nikolakakis added. “All the kids on our team are close, especially the group that has played together since Little League. We have a great atmosphere and a competitive atmosphere. The coaches (Leon Elwell and Al Donovan) do a great job too. When it’s time to work we know how to buckle down and get ready to work.”

Nikolakakis, a first/third baseman who spent two years on the varsity baseball team at St. Mary’s, has a strong recollection of the World Series run two summers ago. He launched a grand-slam in that tournament.

“I definitely remember getting there,” Nikolakakis, who’ll continue his baseball career at Plymouth State, said. “When we got to North Dakota it was different. It was a small airport. It was nice being there with the team. It was fun being there. We played great baseball. I remember hitting a grand-slam out there. It was a fun time in general.”

The Lynners haven’t played a game, aside from a scrimmage against the North Shore Giants, since last Tuesday’s regional championship against Cape Cod. For the past week, the team has balanced its time between two main focuses.

On the field, the focus is on staying sharp with fundamentals at the forefront.

“We’re just sharpening up,” Nikolakakis said. “We’re working on the areas we’ve worked on all season, the fundamental things. We’re preparing for the (eight hour) bus ride. We’re preparing for the competition, it’ll be a lot better than what we’ve seen this summer. We’re working on shooting the ball the opposite way, small ball, getting bunts down. A lot of fundamentals and mental things.”

Off the field, the focus is on being mentally prepared for the competition they’ll play against in Jamestown.

“We’re definitely expecting to go in there and do some damage,” Nikolakakis said. “We have to have respect for the competition because we’ll face some great competition. It’s not a vacation, it’s a business trip. The competition will be good but it’s good to push ourselves a little bit.”

The extra rest works to Nikolakakis’ favor, as the infielder’s nursing a knee injury he suffered four years ago as a freshman football player at St. Mary’s. He recently underwent a MRI that revealed a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. Nikolakakis will require surgery to repair the damage but he elected to postpone the procedure until after the World Series.

“I’m not 100 percent there but it’s not affecting my ability,” Nikolakakis said. “I’m just pushing through it, it doesn’t really cross my mind during the games.”

Although the Babe Ruth season has challenged him physically and kept his schedule busy, there’s nothing Nikolakakis would rather do this summer than gear up for another World Series run.

“Playing this much baseball takes a toll on your body,” Nikolakakis said. “Playing through an injury has been tough but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing than playing with these guys. My teammates and the coaches make it fun. It’s not just baseball, it’s a routine for me and it’s a part of the summer. It’d feel weird not playing baseball.”

Lynn’s goal, Nikolakakis said, is a clear one.

“Representing Lynn on a national stage is as good as it gets,” Nikolakakis said. “We go down there to represent the city, the state and New England. Getting that opportunity when I was 15, and doing it again now, it’s incredible. The city has done an incredible job helping us. Going down there and bringing back some hardware for the city is our goal.”

By | August 1st, 2018|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments